Edutainment … Gamification … Recycling?

So we chatted about educational games in our latest podcast, more specifically DimensionU. I’m working on a longer post about educational games but in the meantime, I found an awesome video that exemplifies gamification.

Click on the break and watch the video. Did they accomplish their goal? What effects did the “game” have?

The site I got this video from is all about the theory of fun. This caught my attention because it was built like an arcade machine of yore. In short, it is a recycling bank for bottles. They added a game aspect to it where in you score points by putting the bottles in the right slot quickly enough. It literally had bells and whistles and an LED score board.

The bottle bank arcade was used 50 times more than the vanilla flavored bottle bank down the street.

Now this begs the question, was it successful? If they wanted to get more bottles than the bottle bank down the street, well, then they hit a home run.

How does this relate to educational games?

The bottle bank arcade did not come out and try to beat people in the head with a message. The people who were playing it were people who probably were already going to recycle. They just recycled with more enthusiasm and may have spread the word about the bank. this in turn may have gotten a few more people to collect the bottles in their house and play the game on their way to Yoga or knitting class or <insert your favorite hobby>.

So lets say it was a math game instead and kids got all excited about it because they got lights and bells going off and big flashy score that updated them on their success… would they think math is fun and become little math geniuses? Nope. But it may get them to practice a little more. It will give them a little more exposure by providing them with practice.

I want to try a similar experiment at my school. Can you think of a way you can mimic this concept of gamification? Let me know if you have ideas of how to implement such an experiment and or if you have experience with this in your classroom or school

3 thoughts on “Edutainment … Gamification … Recycling?”

  1. You can start doing challenges some analog and others online that keep track or performance and publicly reward students. In addition for initiatives such as recycling, fund raising etc, there should be a push for a FUN requirement. “Make it Worth My Time…and I will do it”.

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